coffee & health

Coffee Pot Cleaning Tips

People who like using natural products to clean cooking and drinking items, have used this simple system for years with great success. It is easier to clean the coffee pot at the same time as cleaning the coffee maker with vinegar. You can, of course, heat the vinegar on the stove top and clean the pot or glass carafe if that is all you need or want to do.

Vinegar is an excellent cleaning solution since it is nontoxic, has no noxious fumes and easily rinses with water. Plus, it is inexpensive and you most likely already have some in your kitchen pantry. Use white vinegar preferably, a 50/50 mixture of water and vinegar. White vinegar is fairly colorless which makes it good for removing the dark “coffee ring” that begins to form on the pot after regular use. Apple cider and red wine vinegar do not work as well as white vinegar does for cleaning a coffee pot.

To clean a coffee pot that has a stubborn coffee ring, leave it soaking for 24 hours. Pour enough vinegar to fill the pot so it covers the ring. Use undiluted vinegar this time. Put the lid on it, move it aside where it will not be disturbed. The next day, scrub and rinse it. Repeat the same steps as often as needed until satisfied with the results.

The exact same procedure can be used to clean anything that holds coffee. For example, mugs, carafes, canister, coffee grinders, coffee makers, and anything else that comes in contact with soluble coffee. The same vinegar solution is an excellent cleansing solution for the outside of the pot and other kitchen appliances. It helps remove fingerprints and gives appliances a little extra shine.

If you like to recycle, you can pour the vinegar and water solution into a plastic container with a lid and reuse several times before finally discarding it. No refrigeration required. Discard the solution when it gets dark or soiled after reusing it about two to four times.

Because coffee tastes better with a clean coffee maker and a clean coffee pot, we recommend following these directions,

Pour enough vinegar to fill the coffee maker with it instead of water as normally done for coffee brewing. Use a 50/50 water to vinegar mixture. If you prefer to use just vinegar, that works fine as well. Put the coffee pot in the coffee maker just like you do when brewing coffee. Turn the coffee maker “on.” Some people recommend using a paper filter, others prefer not to do that. This is a personal choice. Once the pot is filled with the vinegar and water mixture, turn it off and let it cool. Pour the solution back into the coffee maker or back into the pan if doing the coffee pot only. Go through the whole process one more time. Pour out the vinegar mixture and run two pots full of water through the coffee maker to remove the vinegar residue. Pour the coffee pot out again and fill the sink to half full with warm water. Add some dish soap, stir and put the coffee pot in the soapy water. Scrub the pot with a soft kitchen brush or a sponge to remove any rings, marks or debris missed. Rinse with warm water instead of cold water to prevent possibly cracking the glass. Towel dry the pot and run it through the dry cycle in the dishwater. If you prefer not to do this, then simply dry very well with a clean towel.

That’s it, your glass carafe is clean and you are now ready to enjoy a cup of coffee!

What about a nice cup of Hazelnut flavored coffee?

What is Smithsonian Bird Friendly Coffee?

The mission of Smithsonian Bird Friendly certified coffee is to conduct research and education around issues of neo-tropical migratory bird populations.

This means promoting certified shade grown coffee as a viable supplemental habitat for birds and other organisms.This certification was founded in 1997 with criteria based on scientific fieldwork.It involves multiple organic certification agencies for certification management purposes.

This certification has representation from countries such as Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Ecuador, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Honduras, Indonesia, Jamaica, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Tanzania, and Vietnam.

What is the role of The Smithsonian Institution in this certification?

The Smithsonian Institution is a leading organization in the study of ornithology and bird research. For years, it has led significant studies on the impacts of urbanization on birds, the conservation value of shade-grown coffee, the effect of climate change on migratory birds, the damage caused by emerging infectious diseases on birds, the fastastic and mostly undiscovered diversity of South American birds and much more! Bird Friendly ® Coffee is a program established by the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center (SMBC) that seeks to protect coffee plantations with high, dense and diverse shade tree canopies especially because these plantations are ideal habit for many species of migratory and native birds.How do farmers qualify for the Smithsonian Bird Friendly Certification?

To qualify for this label, the coffee plantation has to be certified organic first. The coffee with this label has to be separated from all other coffee at all stages of harvest, post-harvest, processing and trade. There are specific requirements for the ratio of shade canopy to open land. The shade canopy has to offer different layers or “strata” to meet the needs of different bird species, some of which nest at higher altitudes than others. The main canopy layer, called the “stratum,” has to be a height of no less than 40 feet high. In general, the shade canopy needs to have more than eleven tree species and the predominant tree species cannot account for more than 60% of the total canopy area. Again, this is so the variety of trees, seeds, fruits, insects and nature is sufficient to feed, sustain and attract a large variety of birds.Much is known about the basic characteristics of shade coffee’s ability to act as a refuge for wildlife diversity. However, many questions remain unanswered about how to prevent or repair habitat destructions and species extinctions.

Land management is undoubtedly the answer to many of these challenges and the Smithsonian certification helps to promote natural sustainability and ecosystem preservation. One of the greatest benefits of healthy and increasing bird populations in coffee plantations is the natural insect control they do which provides a very valuable ecosystem service worth significant amounts in relation to the total crop value.

Birds are immediate beneficiaries of Bird Friendly plantations:

For example, Baltimore Orioles rely on flowering trees that abound in coffee regions during their wintering stay in Latin America. Hummingbirds of many colors and sizes depend entirely on abundant nectar from flowers that grow in shade canopies offering the nectar diversity different hummingbirds prefer and the varying canopy layers where they nest. A variety of the Toucan bird family, the Emerald Toucanet, for example, is often found across Central and South America relying on food and shelter sources during its wide geographic range migration. The Cerulean Warbler is one bird that is strongly associated with coffee trees, its favorite habitat.In addition to birds, coffee plantations are excellent habitats for a large variety of butterflies, ants, insects and other wildlife necessary to ensure balanced ecosystems.

Interesting trivia: do you know that one cup of coffee can help preserve about 2.3 square feet of rainforest trees per cup?

So, what about drinking some Java Estate coffee and helping the planet in the process?
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Coffee Maker Reviews – Keurig B40

Welcome to this review of the Keurig B40 elite coffee maker. During the next page or so I would like to detail the key issues and features of this machine and help you identify if it is the unit for you or if you might be best keeping away.

The speed with which this little bad boy pumps out coffee is truly top draw, and while there are coffee makers that can produce more coffee over a much larger scale (Bunn coffee makers can make up to 12 cups in just 3 minutes), this unit can give you a 7.25 oz cup of coffee in just 30 seconds. The time we save first thing in the morning is truly priceless, forget Master card get yourself a Keurig! The vast majority of people unless they are retired perhaps are on a pretty tight schedule first thing in the morning, and the few minutes that this machine will save you will definitely make the coffee making process seem like something you can do easily every morning, no hassles.

Some have stated this machine makes weak coffee, that’s not entirely true, and while it is possible to make weak coffee using this machine, it is the person using it that should be taking the blame for any weak coffee that is produced. There are at least two very easy ways that we can have stronger coffee in our cup. The first way is to continue with the regular strength l-cup and brew twice using the 5.25 oz setting, the second is to simply switch to the bold or if that’s not good enough the “extra” bold k-cup.

Thanks very much for reading this review. I hope you now have all the information you need to make an informed decision as to whether to buy this machine or not.